- Vicky Bryant
- 3/4 cup (175 ml) dried navy beans, picked over and rinsed
- 2 smoked ham hocks (optional)
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 medium leek, thoroughly rinsed and thinly sliced
- 3 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch slices
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) sugar
- 1 cup (225 ml) tightly packed fresh basil, or combination of basil and flat-leaf Italian parsley, divided
- 1 tsp (5 ml). dried thyme and/or dried oregano (fresh can be used also)
- 1 14-oz. can Italian plum tomatoes, including juice
- 3 cups (700 ml) cold water
- 3 cups (700 ml) vegetable stock/chicken stock, or a combination
- 6 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds (I always use a 6-oz. can)
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) orzo, tubettini (tubetti), or other small Italian pasta (I have used orzo and tubetti and prefer tubetti)
- 1 to 2 cups (475 ml) boiling water, optional
- 2 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 3 cups (700 ml) loose packed, cored, shredded cabbage
- 1 tsp (5 ml) salt, or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- Garnish: 1 - 1-1/2 cups (350 ml) grated fresh Parmesan or romano cheese
- Preparing dried beans:
- Place beans, ham hocks (if using) in pressure cooker
- Do not add any extra salt as this will make the beans tough and hard to cook.
- For every cup of dried beans add 4 Cups (950 ml) of water and 1Tbsp oil (this will prevent the foaming that sometimes clogs pressure cookers).
- Maintain high pressure for 16 - 25 minutes. Drain and rinse beans and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in cooker, saute garlic and onion until onion becomes limp.
- Add carrots, leek, celery, 1/2 cup (125 ml) basil, thyme, sugar, reserved navy beans, plum tomatoes with their juice, water and stock.
- I keep ham hocks in until end of cooking process.
- Lock the lid and heat on high, bringing to high pressure, reduce heat and maintain at high pressure for 20 minutes.
- Drop pressure naturally or use quick-release method.
- Add green beans, tubetti and cook uncovered over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to keep pasta from dropping to bottom.
- If soup becomes too thick add the 1 - 2 cups (475 ml) boiling water (I have never had to do this).
- Add zucchini, cabbage, remaining basil, salt and pepper.
- Cook until zucchini and green beans (if fresh) are crisp-tender.
- Garnish with the cheese.
- Pressure cooking seems to be overwhelmingly time-consuming.
I guess because things cook so fast that you never stop chopping, dicing, splicing, and trying to clean up before you have to do another step.
However, everything is too good not to do it.
It's my version of microwave cooking and much tastier too!